The Wandering Wishnies travel blog

That’s me with my frozen custard sundae in Las Cruces, the 30...

We got a nice early start this morning at 9:00 (well, early for us), as we had a long driving day ahead of us. And it was going to be 30 minutes longer due to a planned detour through Las Cruces, with a stop at a frozen custard stand. I know you’re wondering how I could justify a 30 mile detour just to eat frozen custard. Can it really be that good? Is this like the 90 mile haircut? Well, yes, sort of.

But before you send the men in the white coats for me, let me say that the custard was not the real reason for the detour. It was just a happy side benefit. We really went through Las Cruces because we had read on the April 9th entry on friends’ Ellie and Jim’s blog that there was some major construction on Highway 26 from Deming to Hatch, the more direct route. They referenced the New Mexico DOT website for road conditions which indicated traffic in some areas was down to a single lane with escorts through the construction zone. And we figured it wasn’t worth the hassle. Besides, stuff like that could easily add 30 minutes to the trip, and not in a fun way, like eating frozen custard.

After reading Ellie’s blog, I remembered just some days earlier on another friends’ blog, Laurie and Odel that they had discovered frozen custard in Las Cruces (March 24th entry). Bingo! Looks like the perfect route for us. And we would get there just about time for lunch.

Now, I think all my friends back home in Wisconsin will know this is not out of character for me, since they know what a custard fanatic I am. The rest of you will just think I’m batty :) I’m sure Wisconsin didn’t invent frozen custard, but they know a good thing when they taste it. We had tons of frozen custard stands in the metro Milwaukee area. (You remember Laverne and Shirley, right?) It wasn’t just beer that made Milwaukee a good place to live.

So we found our way to Caliche’s Frozen Custard. It was so rich and creamy, and every bit as good as the best custard back in Milwaukee. So if you are ever in or near the Las Cruces area, you simply MUST stop.

We hated to say goodbye to the desert which we’ve grown to love. Can you believe we spent almost six months in Arizona? We first arrived in Arizona last October 15, and except for several weeks in California and Mexico, we have been here ever since. We thought about that this morning as we crossed the state line and saw the “Welcome to New Mexico” sign.

Goodbye land of the sun and saguaros, Hello land of enchantment. It was time to move on. Arizona had become like an old flannel shirt or a worn pair of your favorite shoes--too easy to curl up in, too hard to take off. But we have more adventuring in the “lower 48” to do as we work our way north headed for our great Alaska adventure. But first, we’ll spend the next two weeks “talking to the animals” at Desert Haven Animal Refuge in Williamsburg, New Mexico. I know I said it was in Truth or Consequences, but it’s actually the next town, Williamsburg.

We got a brief informal tour of the place this afternoon after we got set up. It's a hoot, I'll tell you. Not only do they have the usual dogs and cats (30 cats!!), but also guinea pigs, chickens, white doves, Ringed-neck doves, 3 peacocks, and rabbits. Fred thought it was so bizarre that they would have chickens and doves in a shelter, he sarcastically asked them where they keep the worms. You know...the ones the fishermen don't want. The woman touring us looked at him quizzically, and I wanted to throttle him.

I think it's going to be a lot of fun. Fred's not convinced yet, but I think he'll come around. I'm sure we'll learn more tomorrow when we actually get to work. There's room for 6 rigs here for workampers. Some of the people who work here live in real homes in the area. One couple we met today is also from Wisconsin and just stopped briefly to check it out for future possibility. They only got here on Friday and already the wife would like to stay a while, but the husband doesn't. They have a farm in Wisconsin that they need to sell so they can be fulltimers. We haven’t really talked to anyone else yet.

Not sure what we’ll be doing, but I’m willing to help out any way I can. What we've seen so far is stuff like feeding and walking the dogs, feeding all the other animals, cleaning the various areas, scooping the litter boxes, etc. They could use someone who is handy to fix things, and we already volunteered Fred for that kind of work.

I didn’t have a chance to take any pictures of the refuge yet, but I’m sure I’ll have some tomorrow. (The only picture I’ve published today is me in front of the custard stand :) We have to meet at 8:00am (Yikes, alarm clock time) to get work assignments. Stay tuned

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